Nursing Home Neglect in the News
How can you be sure that when you place an elderly loved one in a nursing home they won’t be neglected or abused? The truth is, as our Delray Beach personal injury and nursing home neglect lawyers at Aronberg, Aronberg & Green know, you can never be sure. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect, often at the hands of so-called “caretakers” and “aides” is common. Given the high population of elderly individuals in South Florida, this is a problem which really hits close to home.
Recently, the issue of nursing home neglect received a lot of attention in the media. A hidden video camera captured horrifying footage of nursing home employees shoving around and pulling the hair of a 93-year-old great-grandmother in a Boston-area nursing home. In the video, the elderly 98-pound woman is seen arguing with the pair of aides. The aides are seen pulling the lady’s hair and yanking her head around. The aides are also seen shoving her in and out of a wheelchair.
The above-described abuse was discovered because of a video camera stealthily placed in the room by the victim’s family. As our Delray Beach nursing home neglect lawyers know, the family was right to place a camera in the room when they got suspicious. This abuse only came to light because of the video footage capturing the aides in the act of neglect and abuse.
Undoubtedly, thousands of instances of abuse go unpunished and unreported because of a lack of evidence. Unfortunately, according to the CDC, for “every one case of elder abuse that is detected or reported, it is estimated that approximately 23 cases remain hidden.”
The aides in the video have been charged with assault and battery on a person over the age of 60. The victim and her family also have civil causes of action (for assault, battery, emotional trauma, etc.) against the aides in the video and the nursing home company. As our Delray Beach nursing home neglect lawyers know, nursing homes have a responsibility and a duty to ensure that the aides they employ are properly taking care of the patients in the home—not abusing them.
So, how can you know if your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home? Here is a list of some of the most immediate, probably physical effects of nursing home neglect or abuse:
- Welts, wounds and other injuries such as bruises, lacerations, broken bones, missing patches of hair, etc. (see this article discussing the prevalence of facial injuries among nursing home residents)
- Persistent physical pain and soreness;
- Malnutrition and dehydration;
- Inability to sleep;
- Weakened immune system and susceptibility to new diseases (including sexually transmitted diseases); and
- Exacerbation of preexisting medical conditions.
The truth is, the choice to place a loved one—a grandparent, parent, sibling or spouse—in a nursing home can be one of the most gut-wrenching decisions you make in your life. Discovering that your loved one is being neglected in the very place you trusted would take care of them can be even more disheartening. Considering the information, if you have any reason to suspect that a loved one is being neglected or abused in a nursing home, don’t delay—call us now.